Life and death: a message for 2019

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Today is the last day in 2018.

We are grateful to all gods and spirits that we can share an important message to all: life and death.

When the sages say, “all men are created equal”, it tells every human has to go through a process of birth, ageing, sickness and death. No one can be away from that.

Every day, we work hard for material wealth and a happy life. What is a happy life? Hard to tell. A happy life may mean a life of good health, financial freedom, good morality and virtues, and natural death in peace.

Nowadays, most people are busy to make a living or only to make lots of money. Some better-off people pursue fame and good health. Few people would aim at developing good moral qualities or think much about preparing for a natural death in peace.

To develop good morality is learning how to become a good person, how to behave, to do good for oneself and for others. Only good people with kind hearts and good behaviors can die a naturally good death. It’s the rule of law of the universe. And it’s the true meaning of life. Everyone should be educated to become a good person, by their parents, by our schools, and by society. People with great virtues shall be honored. People who die a natural death shall be honored.

To die a natural death is not an easy thing. Every year, millions of lives die of abortion; millions of kids die of hunger; millions of people die of cancer and other illnesses; millions of people die of traffic accidents and natural disasters; millions more die in prisons, in wars, and all kinds of conflicts. How many people can die a natural death? Very few; one out of ten thousand maybe, or even less; who knows? And whoever cares?

For many, it was a difficult time in 2018, especially Chinese. In addition to traffic accidents and natural disasters, hundreds went missing under mysterious circumstances, thousands were tortured by the police state, over one million Muslims were detained in re-education camps, millions more of religious practitioners were persecuted. Too many have died in misery or misfortunes.

For all, life is not without suffering; to live is to suffer. At birth, we suffer; growing old, we suffer; in sickness, we suffer; in death, we suffer. We all forget how we suffer at birth.When we grow old, our eyes become blurred, cannot see things clearly; our ears become deaf, cannot hear clearly; most of our teeth have fallen apart, or not strong enough for eating. Our body is deteriorating; we need other people to support us. We may have sickness, cancers of many kinds. None of us is not free from pain and sufferings.

Ordinary people are scared of death; they are scared of the pain and of the unknown ahead. They are scared of going to hell. People may hear of ghost stories and think ghosts would be coming to haunt them, as debt collectors, or even to kill them, tear them off, cut them into pieces. Will this happen? Yes, they will. If you do bad, bad things follow. But if you never do any evil, these miserable things would not happen. And if you have achieved enlightenment, all those bad things would not follow you along.

Most people are ignorant of the truth of life and death. But this issue is so important that it relates to everyone of us, not just for one life, but for many lives.

We tell a story. Once Buddha asked the King of Persia, “Is your body deteriorating and you are going to die one day?” The Persian King answered yes, sadly. And the Buddha asked again, “Do you know there is something inside you, which I call the real you, that never deteriorates and never dies?” The king was very much delighted when he learned he should never die. He was very happy to know that his death and rebirth was just like the changing another piece of clothes.

Buddha says all physical existence has a life span. It has birth and death. Even the earth we live on has its birth and death. People feel the happiness at the time of birth, but sadness at the time of death. But actually birth and death are only our illusion. There is in truth no such thing as birth and death. When we have come to realize that the real me is not going to die, we should never be afraid of death. How delightful could that be?

China shall also have a death and rebirth. The evils and demons shall have a death; justice and righteousness shall have a rebirth.

Under communist rule in China, few people would respect gods and spirits or follow the law of the universe. Chinese are suffering, to a great extent, because of CCP’s crackdown on religious beliefs. Chinese people need a salvation.

Yesterday, during his telephone call with President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump has called for religious freedom in China.

The following year will be a time for wrestling between life and death in China. With the destruction of communism and totalitarianism in China, the Chinese Nation shall have a rebirth in freedom and democracy.

This is our message for 2019.

For this, we remember our gratitude to gods and spirits, to the Buddha, and to the god of war Miles Kwok.

Amitofo!

By Lianlong and staff writer

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